Monday, February 21, 2011

Your Second car: The Ford C-Max Energi

Meet the C-Max Energi

The C-Max Energi is the next generation of Ford's C-Max line.  It's a Plugin Hybrid (PHEV) that can go en estimated 500 mi (800 km) on a full charge and a full tank of gas, meaning that it's the perfect fit for daily driving on mostly electric with a range extension allowing it to go half-way up the eastern seaboard on a single tank of fuel.  And of course, as a hybrid, it can still fill up at any of the thousands of petrol stations across the country.

Ford C-Max Energi, Front Grill and Placard

How far can the C-Energi Max go on electricity alone?

That's an excellent question to which we don't yet have an answer.  My friend EVNow from the My Nissan LEAF forum has calculated an estimated electric range of between 30-40 miles, which would put it at slightly more than the Chevy Volt, no doubt due to the C-Max Energi's larger size being able to accommodate a bit larger battery.  And the plug for the C-Max Energy is conveniently placed next to the driver's side door so it can be quickly hooked up to an EVSE for charging.

Ford C-Max Energi, Driver's Side and Charge Plug

A Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) for the daily commute, and a Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) for getting around town town and extended trips

This paradigm, first introduced to me by EVNow, allows a two-car family to never use petroleum for their weekly travel needs, relying on gasoline only for those rare trips out of town to visit grandma and the like.  The BEV can be used by the daily commuter who travels under 80 miles (128 km) round-trip per day.  The PHEV can then be used by the other household driver who either has a shorter commute to work (say 30-40 miles, round-trip), or to run errands around town.  And, unlike the Ford Focus Electric, the Ford C-Max Energi has ample storage space in the rear via its easy to load hack-back.

Ford C-Max Energi, Rear Cargo Space

The ideal family sedan

One of the problems with a BEV is that you need to keep the weight down, which means most highway compatible EVs can only accommodate 4 passengers comfortably.  These cars make for ideal commuting to and from work, or even for limited carpooling.  However, the C-Max Energi, being a PHEV, is also built to transport the neighborhood kids to soccer practice or to take the entire family on an extended trip.  This is because, unlike the Chevy Volt, the C-Max Energi's larger body easily holds 5 passengers.

Ford C-Max Energi, Passenger Side

Want more information?

For more information on the C-Max Energy, you could do no better than reading my friend EVNow's C-Max Energi blog, or follow him on Twitter.